WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM OFFICERS



Perception is reality...




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1. It's more important to look good than to be good.

2. Non-matching furniture is a show-stopper. Untrained troops are not a show-stopper.

3. A unit that has no money for new computers or spare parts will still manage to afford a big-screen TV for Powerpoint slide shows.

4. A bad plan with good slides is better than a good plan with bad slides.

5. Three sergeants thinking about an issue dealing with their MOS for four months and coming up with a detailed plan is not as good as a colonel who knows nothing about their MOS thinking about it for 30 seconds.

6. When you achieve high rank, the difference between what you know and what you feel fades away.

7. The schools officers go to aren't any better than the schools NCOs go to. But an NCO who goes to the ANCOC that deals with his MOS knows he's not necessarily smarter about his MOS; an Army officer who goes to an Air Force graduate school or a Joint College thinks he now knows more about the branch he's been away from for two years.

8. A year's hard work by the troops can be destroyed because of some minor incident that happened to the Colonel when he was a lieutenant.

9. Officers sit around thinking a lot... in a vacuum. This is not a good thing.

10. Officers think they're businessmen. They think the principles used in business, like "corporate vision" and "TQM" can work in the Army. This is because officers spend a lot of time trying to sell things, usually grand ideas and catchy names.

11. Officers believe that a plan won't succeed unless it has a good name, like "Operation Intrinsic Action." NCOs would rather give it something simple, like "Operation Beat Their *&^%$ Heads In" and get on with it.

12. Officers really do believe that a soldier is happier when he's busy, even if he's not doing what's important. NCOs know that nothing is as useless as doing something which should not be done at all.

13. There are a lot of officers out there who would have been better as NCOs... and a lot of NCOs who would have been better as officers.

14. NCOs NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES refer to other soldiers as "customers."

15. Creating a twenty-minute slide show that makes the commander look good will get you the same medal as working your ass off for 12 months for the same commander.

16. The more warning one has for a briefing, the more cheese one can provide for the briefing. Improving content is secondary.


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